The Gluten Free Coach Coral Ward and Life Coach Jamee Andelin share their experiences and their process of working through the hard to find joy in their Gluten Free Lives. They have inspired thousands through their Podcasts, social media, personal coaching, and their new book No Matter What: Choose Joy, Whether You Stay in or Leave a Hard Marriage. Bookmark this page because you will want to revisit these GEMS to help you through whatever trials you are experiencing, even in your gluten free life.
Get to Know These Incredible Women
About Coral Ward
Coral and her family started their gluten free journey in 2014, when her daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease after being given a “failure to thrive” label. Now Coral and her family of 4 children are living their best gluten free life and sharing their experiences and years of research with others who live a 100% gluten free lifestyle. She is on a mission to help those that are struggling with the diagnosis of celiac disease: to help them find their groove, to help them to understand what the disease is, to learn how to live their best lives and how to lessen the tough emotions stemming from dietary restrictions and health issues. Feelings of isolation, uncertainty, frustration, and depression… She is here providing resources and hope!
About Jamee Andelin
By day, Jamee is a life coach and a podcaster. She is teaching members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints how to find pleasure and joy in their everyday simple lives. By night, she’s a mom of four kids and has been married for almost 18 years. She also has celiac disease. So she’s 100% gluten-free. Through her experiences and years of studying she is now able to coach others and share the principles she has learned to help you become your best self.
Are you a reader or a listener? Either way, I’ve got you covered! This article references a lot of the information from conversations between Coral and Jamee, so you can listen to their lovely voices in the podcast episodes, and then come back here to have the takeaways all stored in one place.
Coral and Jamee each have their own podcasts, and they are influencing so many people with their uplifting message of love, hope, and you can do hard things and make it through to live your best life!
And here’s Coaching with Jamee Podcast blurb:
“I am a Lifecoach for women who are ready to try everything they can to create a strong, vibrant marriage. This podcast is for you if you have an open heart and an open mind. If you believe that you are powerful enough to start creating a thriving marriage (even if your spouse isn’t on board yet!). Life is hard and sometimes marriage gets the blame. I show you how to live life well and then enjoy a marriage of ease and deep loving connection of friendship and intimacy.”
Click on the images below to listen to two episodes where Coral and Jamee talk together about the Grieving Process of eliminating gluten from your life, and How to Function when dealing with the symptoms of being “glutened.” Then, keep scrolling down for notes and more.
The Grieving Process and Gluten
This section contains excerpts from podcast episode 59
This is so important for people to understand that this grief is really real. Awareness of the this cycle can help normalize what you are going through. Part of the grieving process is hope. And that’s really what everybody wants is hope for a better life. And it’s totally possible. It takes self work get through the grieving process, but then on the other side, life has so much potential.
The grieving process is real. There are five stages, but I like to think of it with two extra parts, the before and the after. The start, the first feeling, is really shock– thinking “What???!!”. And then there’s denial: “That can’t really be”. And then there’s anger. And then there’s the bargaining stage, where you may start telling yourself “I won’t actually follow the protocol, maybe I will, I should and I don’t know.” Then there’s depression, and then there’s acceptance, and through this cycle, there’s hope. So those are all part of the stages, and we can find ourselves going through this cycle. When we find out something hard difficult, like that we have celiac or that something serious is going on in our marriage, or we live through the pandemic, this grieving cycle can be triggered. Or, once you have even accepted and worked through your current situation, it could resurface and hit you randomly. It’s just good to be aware that this is happening.
Sometimes we push away the idea of the grieving gluten, like, “it’s only food,” and we don’t give ourselves permission to process those feelings. But being aware and accepting that this is a normal part of being human and being away and digging more into this learning can help us. Learning the process and tools can help us deal with these emotions on a micro, everyday level and with the big, life changing things that come our way.
Even though we may think, “No one has died, I don’t have a right to be grieving,” its actually an Identity Transformation that we may be working through.
Jamee explains how transitioning to a new “gluten free” identity relates to the grieving cycle:
What happens in our mind when we go through any change, is a new identity is being formed. And when that new identity is being formed, there is an old identity that is being lost. So that old version of you has in your mind actually died and moved on to a better life or, you know, whatever, however you want to put it, but that old version of you has actually died. And that’s how your mind processes it.
So as you’re transitioning into this new identity, it is kind of feeling lost. It’s like, “I don’t know what to do with myself,” just as if someone in your life had died. That old version of you passed on. And now it’s time to figure out a new life and a new version and a new identity. So even though it can sound weird, “Okay, so now I’m not eating pizza,” like the pizza that my family is eating, or whatever, or “I’m at a holiday party, I’m not eating cookies,” I’m grieving, you’re not really grieving cookies, though, that’s kind of what it feels like, when you’re at the holiday party. You’re just grieving an old version, you’re grieving an old identity, you’re grieving, how I would put it for you or I, the woman that you used to be. And now you’re becoming a new woman, or a new version of yourself. And so in that transitional period, you go through the grief cycle.
Here are two key tools to help work through this process:
“Digest your Emotions”
Learning how to allow the discomfort and just be able to digest those emotions that are in your body is the number one skill I recommend everybody develop.
You got to digest the sadness, just like you digest your lunch, our feelings and our emotions, they’re real, they’re real chemicals that are in your body that have to be processed, they have to be digested. And so once you notice, you’re feeling something, you just got to feel it, you just got to let it be there. Without having to cover it up, or reject it or deny it. It’s just, it’s here.
And it can be as simple as acknowledging it for example: ‘I’m sad’. Maybe talking to someone about it, and describing it, what it feels like in your body, by naming it.
Practice Self Compassion
Self compassion literally means to support yourself through suffering. It’s not to push the suffering away, it’s not to deny the suffering, it’s not to say that it’s not there; it’s just acknowledging that it’s there. “Of course, I’m feeling isolated.”
The number one thing that a lot of people feel when they go through a dietary change is isolation. It’s a whole lifestyle change really, and their kids are affected, and their friends are affected–everyone’s affected. You do start to feel lonely and isolated.
A way to work through this emotion is putting your hand on your heart– it actually releases oxytocin from your mind, it stimulates your brain. Some kind of skin contact, like putting your hand on your heart, or holding your hands, or squeezing your arms, stimulates the oxytocin. I love all the science-y stuff because what it teaches us is just how our bodies work. When you know how your body works, then you feel so normal.
Putting the Grief Process, Digesting Emotions, and Self Compassion Together
Being aware that this is a process can help you talk yourself through it. Here’s an example of practicing self compassion to digest the emotions:
Sure, of course, I’m sad. Of course, I’m lonely. Of course, I’m feeling this discomfort and the suffering. But I don’t want to hang out here all the time. So the healthiest way to handle it is to allow it to be there, to accept it, to know that it’s not going to be there forever, it’s gonna digest through; eventually you poop, right? It’s the same thing with my emotions, they process through. Sadness will not be there forever.”
And a lot of people are afraid to just allow the loneliness or the isolation or the sadness or depression, whatever is coming up for you, because they think that will be their new life. That is just not true, you have to remind yourself that you are going through an identity transition. And so anytime something comes up for you that feels like you are suffering, your brain kind of freaks out and says, “Oh, no, is this the new identity?” And you just have to say to your brain, “No, this isn’t gonna last forever. It’s okay.” The way to get out of it is to process it. And to allow it and just support yourself, and love that. So you could end up alone on a deserted island. And you would have the support you needed to handle whatever came up for you. That’s such an amazing skill to have.
How to Function when Glutened
This section contains excerpts from podcast 29
Jamee shares one of the biggest lessons she learned from going gluten free: People are more important than anything
“When I show up at social functions, I’m just there for the people. I look at them in their eyes. And I get to know them. I’m sincerely curious about other people. My joy is people instead of food, which feels purposeful for me.”
Wow! what a beautiful message. You do not have to be isolated by your choices or your differences. Human connection is so important and so powerful, but to make it all possible, that first person we have to care care of is OURSELVES.
So the first thing to function as a gluten free person in a gluten filled world is:
If others are offended or make fun of your “crazy diet,” remember that you can’t control other people’s feelings and they can’t control yours. People have thoughts that create their feelings and then create their actions, so it’s not your diet that makes them act a certain way– it is their thoughts about your actions, and vise versa. Your thoughts about how other people are acting create your emotions, so notice when you feel triggered by something and ask yourself– “What thought am I having that is causing me to feel this way?” So if you have Celiac Disease or need to remain 100% gluten free for other reasons, remember that gluten is like a poison for you, and you have every right to protect yourself from that.
But sometimes… it happens. We get glutened, so what do we do now?
Here’s Jamee’s second lesson from going gluten free: Nurture Yourself
“When I have stomach pain, or migraines (I get a lot of migraines), I used to let a lot of other things in my life pile up. And now I say no, and I get myself some herbal tea and I get my heating pad, and then tuck myself into bed.”
In order to properly function after being glutened, you need to let your body digest and work the gluten out of your system. And this can take a long time, especially if it has accumulated in your body, so it is essential to help your body efficiently work through that healing process. Resting and nurturing your body can help you recover sooner so that you can then function to your full potential.
Here’s a few suggestions:
- Visit an IV bar (Did you even know that is a thing?!)
- Use essential oils
- Digest your emotions around feeling crummy (Remember we talked about that earlier)
- Work on your Mindset (it will pass and there is hope)
- Treat yourself to something special**
This last one is such a fun way to respond to being glutened. If you give yourself that time to sneak into your bedroom, enjoy your favorite gluten free treat, or go for a massage or something else to treat yourself and make yourself feel better, you can completely change your experience of being glutened. It can go from something miserable and that you hate, to something mindless and actually get to enjoy a mini retreat!
Mindset is everything.
Know you can handle anything. Knowing that the work you do in your mind is really the only work you need to do. Because then everything else falls into place. Once you change your thoughts and beliefs, your actions fall into line and things just don’t feel like a problem.
Read More with our Award Winning Book No Matter What
When Coral went through her divorce, she felt called to write a book. And so she did– it’s called No Matter What: Choose JOY whether you stay in or leave a hard marriage. And she truly found joy both ways, with staying and with leaving. This is especially because she had Jamee alongside her.
The book’s different chapters discuss all the things that happen when you’re going through a hard marriage–emotions, boundaries, kids etc. Coral shares her journey, with personal and intimate stories, and then Jamee comes on at the end of each chapter. And she has a “Coaching with Jamee” section, So you get the stories from Coral’s personal experience and the explicit tools and principles from Jamee’s research.
This book is about relationships, and learning that important relationship with yourself first so you can show up as your best self in your marriage, in your divorce, in other relationships, and just in life.